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WFP provides US$1 million to feed returning migrant workers
The World Food Programme (WFP) has committed US$1 million to the Ministry of Health for the provision of meals to returning migrant labourers temporarily housed in quarantine centres in Vientiane, Bokeo, Savannakhet, Champassak and Xayaboury provinces.
Through US$1 million in multilateral donations, WFP and implementing partners will provide food for about 100 additional days, benefiting an estimated 10,000 people.

Returning migrant workers staying in state-run quarantine centres will receive three nutritious meals a day, which helps prevent illness and maintains their health and wellbeing, while reducing the financial burden on returning migrants and their families.
A Memorandum of Understanding on the project was signed on Tuesday by WFP Country Director and Representative, Mr Jan Delbaere, and Minister of Health, Dr Bounfeng Phoummalaisith.
Mr Delbaere said “I am very happy that WFP and our implementing partners have been able to respond to the request from the government by providing much-needed food assistance to returning migrants in quarantine centres in Laos.”
The extension of funding for the next 100 days will continue to support the government’s Covid-19 prevention and control strategy and reduce the risk of a virus outbreak.
The pandemic has resulted in unprecedented global impacts, which affect both the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people in Laos.
With only 49 confirmed cases to date, the citizens of Laos have been spared from significant negative health impacts of Covid-19. However, the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic have been serious and are expected to continue into 2021.
The low number of confirmed cases may be linked at least in part to the strict border controls instituted by the government, including the implementation of quarantine measures for everyone entering the country.
Detection and isolation at quarantine centres and points of entry are critical to prevent additional outbreaks of Covid-19 in Laos.
 Since June 2020, and in partnership with the Swiss Red Cross, the Lao Red Cross and World Vision International, WFP has been providing three daily meals to returnees while they complete their 14-day quarantine period.
Since the start of the support, the project has delivered over 680,000 meals to 31,000 returnees at a cost of US$1.5 million to date.
The meals provided in the quarantine centres are purchased from nearby restaurants.
These restaurants purchase fresh and nutritious food from local markets, thereby supporting local farmers and traders.
This significant investment in local communities is helping to reduce the socio-economic impacts that Covid-19 is having in Laos.
The World Food Programme supports the government in providing school lunches for primary school students, counters malnutrition with targeted food support to the most vulnerable, and helps communities build resilient lives with sustainable livelihood options.


By Phetphoxay Sengpaseuth
(Latest Update
April 09,

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